Funimation Announces 'Cowboy Bebop' 20th Anniversary Release

Cowboy Bebop is one of the any classic anime series celebrating a monumental anniversary in 2018, and now fans will soon be able to purchase the series in a way they never have been able to before.

For the 20th Anniversary of the series, Funimation is planning to collect the entirety of Cowboy Bebop in a great new package.

Starting May 1, on Cowboy Bebop's 20th Anniversary, Funimation will be opening reservations for the three different collector's edition. Each collector's edition will include the series and the film, a 200-page artbook with new translated materials, and a vinyl of Cowboy Bebop's soundtrack (for the first time ever).

For interested fans, Funimation currently has concepts for three different types of Collector's Editions for the series that vary in price and look. Fans will need to pre-order certain concepts to determine which ones get made. But prices and other information for this limited release have yet to be announced.

From May 15 to June 10 lucky fans will able to experience a special collaboration Cowboy Bebop cafe in Japan, which is being advertised by a brand new piece of art from character designer Toshihiro Kawamoto. The collaboration with Animate Cafe will bring limited goods and a special Cowboy Bebop themed menu to the Osaka and Akibahara locations in Japan.

Original creator/director of the series Shinichiro Watanabe has revealed a new anime project Carol & Tuesday, and fans can even buy a recreation of Spike Spiegel's famous suit. Cowboy Bebop has a wide range of fans too, even expanding to the creator of Nickelodeon's The Fairly OddParents' Butch Hartman who drew a picture of Spike hanging out with Cosmo in his signature style.

To complicate things even further for anime fans, Sunrise is reportedly working on a live-action television series that's going to adapt the anime in various ways. Watanabe recently opened up about the series as well, stating “In my personal opinion, if the live-action adaptation is able to bring out the good points of what was part of the anime or original manga series - if they’re able to keep that alive - then I think it’s a good point."

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For those unfamiliar with Cowboy Bebop, the series was first created by Sunrise in 1998. It was directed by Shinichiro Watanabe, with scripts written by Keiko Nobumoto, character designer Toshihiro Kawamoto, and songs composed by Yoko Kanno. Set in the year 2071, the series explores many existentialist philosophies as it follows the adventures of Spike Spiegel, and a group of bounty hunter misfits aboard the titular spaceship the Bebop.

The series premiered in Japan back in 1998, and ran for 26 episodes until 1999. It was licensed for an English language released by Bandai Entertainment and Funimation, and was the very first anime series to air on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim programming block in the United States. It's often credited by fans from the 2000s as a major "gateway" show to the world of anime overall and has gone on to major critical, cult, and commercial success.